Are scratch brownies worth my time? #brownies #timesaver #baking #dessert #partyfood
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Are Scratch Brownies Worth My Time?

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I wonder about things from time to time. Like, are scratch brownies worth my time? Short answer: No. Long answer: Nooooooo. Oh, what, you want more explanation? You’ve read this post in Bon Appetit, written by a professional baking blogger, and you assume your brownies are going to be as delicious as hers and your friends’ palates are going to be as sophisticated as her friends’? Well, that’s fine. If you are also a professional baker, you have my permission to not read this. If you aren’t, though, let me walk you through my methodology and explain why homemade brownies just aren’t worth the effort.

Are Scratch Brownies Worth my Time Experiment

The Method

Are brownies made from scratch better than the box kind? #brownies #timesaver #baking #dessert #partyfood
One of these looks like a lot more work than the others.

I made two types of brownies: box brownies and homemade. The box was Betty Crocker and the homemade recipe came from one of the top rated recipes on You can try it here if you want. I chose that one because the pictures looked most like the box ones. Then I also had to buy store-bought. They came in mini-muffin form from Walmart. I wish I could have found them in squares so I could use this amazing invention. If you are big brownie eaters, you’re going to want one. Instead I had to use my mini-muffin tin, which if you don’t already have, I’m not sure we can speak anymore. How do you make your desserts cute or serve mac and cheese bites? Anyway, three types of brownies.

I made the two types of brownies about an hour apart so my tin had time to cool down. I bought the store ones on the same day. Then I made the recipients of my Christmas baking (which I’m very organized at doing, by the way) try one of each. I did have to serve them upside down because the tops were very obviously different, but if you aren’t wearing your baby and trying to work while you’re baking, maybe you will have an easier time being tidy than I did.

The Results

Are brownies made from scratch better than the box kind? #brownies #timesaver #baking #dessert #partyfood
Yes, I know which one is which, but if you can’t tell I guess it doesn’t matter.

Guess how many people preferred the scratch brownies? Are you ready? Here goes…. Zero! Zero people preferred the scratch brownies over the box or store-bought. Now, I’m not the best baker in the world, but I can follow a recipe, especially an easy one like that. As for the favorites, most people skewed toward the box, myself included. We had two people prefer the store-bought, although my husband did wait until the next day to eat them. Obviously that warps the result a little bit since they had preservatives, but he adamantly disliked the homemade ones. So I guess they don’t hold up well either.


Are brownies made from scratch better than the box kind? #brownies #timesaver #baking #dessert #partyfood
This experiment caused a lot of extra holiday weight in my neighborhood.

Is making scratch brownies worth my time? Nope. Probably not yours either. I’m not trying to knock your cooking skills or anything like that either, honestly. My mom felt guilty when she tried the experiment because she didn’t like the homemade ones, but you know what? I was relieved. I wanted everyone to like the easier ones better. That means busy moms like me don’t have to worry so much about creating the perfect dessert! We don’t have to be the best at baking, because we can trust Betty Crocker and Walmart to know what they’re doing. Will I still make my own whiskey bacon brownies from time to time? Sure, when I actually have time! And you shouldn’t throw out your cool cheesecake or red velvet or whatever brownie recipe either. Just don’t feel guilty when you have to turn to the box. 🙂


Are brownies made from scratch better than the box kind? #brownies #timesaver #baking #dessert #partyfood


Are brownies made from scratch better than the box kind? #brownies #timesaver #baking #dessert #partyfoodAre brownies made from scratch better than the box kind? #brownies #timesaver #baking #dessert #partyfood

Are brownies made from scratch better than the box kind? #brownies #timesaver #baking #dessert #partyfood
Are brownies made from scratch better than the box kind? #brownies #timesaver #baking #dessert #partyfood

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  1. This is such an interesting experiment. I very rarely buy anything boxed or use a box. Mostly because I love to understand the ingredient list and that’s more what it’s about for me. But I won’t argue the ease of picking up from a store!

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      That’s cool, I’m sure you’re a great cook if you pay attention to all that! I used to do that with regular cooking so I don’t have to use recipes, but I hate measuring stuff so baking isn’t something I can just do. Definitely don’t have time for thinking!

  2. I love your little science experiment. I haven’t made brownies from scratch in years, so this is good to know. Why put in all that extra effort if it doesn’t make a difference? The only time I make things from scratch is when I want to control the ingredients.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      That makes sense, and you could definitely make brownies healthier if you know what you’re doing.

  3. Kansas Bonanno says:

    oh boo! I love baking and I feel like its the made with “love” that’s the added ingredient but your right most people probably couldn’t care less a brownie is a brownie.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Maybe that’s my problem, I’m always too busy to add the love. 🙂

  4. Wow who would have guessed that people would prefer the shop brought brownies but I agree with you that is a great way of saving time. Perfect for hungry tummies!

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Yep, bakeries, even the ones in grocery stores, have gotten really good at brownies!

  5. I’ve never thought about making scratch brownies. Now, that I’ve read your post, I’m thinking they’re not worth my time either!

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Nope, unless you are an expert baker, I say stick with the easy stuff!

  6. I totally agree with this! I tried to make homemade cupcakes for my son’s birthday last year and they fell out of the car. I ended up buying cupcakes and no one cared!

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Oh no! I’m bummed you did all that work for nothing, but I’m glad you know we don’t have to prove anything to ourselves with baking now. 🙂

  7. I haven’t made scratch brownies in forever, and I probably wont. I feel like some things are worth the time, and brownies aren’t one of those things. Like my step mom makes from scratch carrot cake, like she hand shreds carrots, and that is TOTALLY worth the time.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      That sounds amazing! I’ve never tried doing that, but even hearing it has real shredded carrots makes me think, yes, that is totally going to be better than something store bought or out of a box.

  8. I love that you did this experiment! I love making brownies and I make them both ways – it depends on time and what we have on hand for me. We often have the ingredients for scratch brownies on hand, but we rarely have the boxed mix around unless it’s planned. I’m kind of curious to recreate this experiment myself sometime!

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Let me know how it turns out if you do!

  9. Lowkey obsessed with the fact that you did a full experiment for this, what a smart idea!! In my statistics class we did a really similar thing with chocolate bars from different brands, but how great to do it with the brownies.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      That’s a cool statistics class! I would honestly do a full analysis if I thought anyone would read it. Lol.

  10. Not something I could ever do but they do look really good. Is it worth the time it takes?

    1. Beth Davidson says:


  11. I love the results of this experiment, because I always make box brownies! Gives me another reason to keep on!

  12. I have always enjoyed eating homemade brownies but never had the time to make them from scratch. Hoping i’ll be able to make some one day. These look delicious

  13. Things are so crazy right now that I tend to go with easier. No scratch brownies for me! But I do have to say, making cookies from scratch feels more worth it to me – LOL!

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